Statement on racist posts attributed to “Conor Blackmon”
Late last week, an instance of racist and otherwise offensive expression attributed to Clemson students surfaced on social media. Upon investigation this has proven to be a false attempt to tie racist commentary to the Clemson community through fake social media accounts attributed to an individual purported to be an incoming Clemson freshman.
The accounts on Twitter and Instagram claim to belong to a “Conor Blackmon.” There is no one of that name registered at Clemson, either as a current student or incoming student.
Further, the University asked two Clemson faculty members who are national experts in the identification and tactics of so-called social media “trolls” – Patrick Warren, associate professor of economics, and Darren Linvill, associate professor of communication – to analyze the accounts.
They discovered unusual posting patterns and additional inconsistencies in the account details that led them to conclude these accounts have been set up and are being operated under false pretenses.
Clemson deeply regrets any pain and concern these posts have caused, especially to our students and alumni of color. The University will continue to closely monitor social media for this type of activity and respond accordingly.